August 19, 2018

Google Ad Grant Suspensions Begin Thursday – Sean Kerr

Google Ad Grant NANOE

Several of Google’s new policies have already come into play with deadlines to meet requirements by Thursday, March 1st. If you have received a notification about impending suspension in your approved Google Ad Grant account or have had your account suspended due to one of the new policies, there is still hope. If you are reading about this right now you are probably in one of four positions that we deal with in three main scenarios:

First, you may not have heard of the new policies and for you, this is the first time you are understanding the new policies and what effect that can have on your Ad Grant.

Second, you know you have received or read emails and/or notifications in your account urging you to make changes in order to keep your Google Ad Grant. However, you aren’t sure what they are referring to and how they would impact your account.

Third, your understand the new policies however, developing a strategy to implement changes escapes you. Your Ad Grant could be suspended for any violations to Google’s policies going into effect March 1st.

Fourth, your account has already been suspended due to not meeting any of the Ad Grants new policies.

Let’s look at each of these and how best you can deal with each of them.

Your Google Ad Grant is in danger:

Whether you were just approved for the Google Ad Grant or have had it for years, the new policies affect you. The most likely reason you received a notification is because you had not reached monthly 5% CTR (Click-Through-Rate); which an average of your CTR’s over the past calendar month. If you manage your account internally, Google has plenty of resources for identifying how to improve your performance, ranging from a webinar that was hosted by the Google Ad Grants Team, here, to the training for getting your own individual AdWords certification, here. As the Ad Grant program becomes more and more complicated, the best resource you can have is an AdWords specialist. You can locate Badged Partner at google.com/partners. While most are focused on for-profit companies, some like Cause Inspired Media are entirely focused on optimizing the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits like yours.

Your Google Ad Grant is Suspended due the Mission-Based Campaigns policy

This policy is a needed update to the grant program, as there are nonprofits that have misused or abused the program. However, due to some automation issues, some otherwise responsible organizations have been caught up in the net of this change. There are 3 main sections of this policy that you could have been affected by.

Single-Word Keywords (i.e. ‘Car,’ ‘Yoga,’ ‘Boat’): Google’s grants team has designated any keyword less than two words (excluding your own branded terms) too generic for use in the grant program.

Overly Generic Keywords: As an extension of the single-word rule, Google is requiring your keywords to be targeted so they reach a subset of users, rather than users searching more broadly. For example, bidding on the word ‘ebooks’ would be too broad of a target, however, if you were to bid on the phrase “ebooks about philanthropy” and land the user on a page for “ebooks about philanthropy” on your website, Google will consider this acceptable.

Quality-Score Under 3: The AdWords program uses an algorithm and once it has developed enough impression data, it assigns a quality score between 1-10. Your quality score is made up of expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Any score under a ‘3’ in your account must be paused or your account can be suspended until those ads are removed or optimized.

Most of these policies are relatively easy to abide by on the surface, as long as you are actively managing your account. However, sometimes in order to adhere to these new requirements, eliminating otherwise well performing keywords can lower your engagement rates and total monthly AdSpend. With this in mind it is important to to have a partner that understands and has the experience to find new ways to optimize the Ad Grants program to help your nonprofit.

Your Google Ad Grant is Suspended for not completing your annual survey or reaching 5% CTR

The first of these is solved easily enough, just complete the survey here and then reach out to google for reactivation. On the other hand, if your account has been suspended for not reaching 5% CTR on or after March 1st, you must demonstrate to Google that you have made sufficient changes to your account in order to show that you are likely to reach the 5% CTR benchmark in the coming month.

In order to accomplish this, you will need to do any of the following:

  • remove several of your under-performing keywords
  • rewrite ads
  • change the overall structure or goals of your account
  • change your bid strategy

Required modifications (such as above) can change on a case by case basis . If you are attempting this on your own, you’ll have access to Google’s support section, although professional help is often necessary to make a changes to reach Google’s new policies.

As mentioned, Cause Inspired Media has a deep understanding of Google Ad Grants and has already helped over 220 nonprofits adhere to Google’s new policies. If you’re concerned about losing the grant for your nonprofit, please reach out to us and we will help. As noted, timing is essential so do not delay, as many of the changes needed to comply will take time.

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